The embattled team boss accuses baseball commissioner Bud Selig of dragging his feet on approving lucrative agreement
Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt — who lost control of his debt-laden team when Major League Baseball took it over earlier this month — appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" to blast baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
McCourt told the show that Selig is dragging his feet on approving the team's TV-rights contract with Fox, which he said would put $285 million dollars in the financially strapped team's pockets.
McCourt, who's in New York trying to get the deal approved by the league, claimed that Selig has been ducking his calls on the matter.
"The transaction is complete," McCourt claimed. "I'm ready to sign it. Fox is ready to sign it. By the way, this just isn't something we pulled a rabbit out of our hat in the last week or so. This is a transaction we've been working on for six months, and Bud is fully aware of that. It's a transaction consistent with what's been approved for other teams."
McCourt's relationship with Fox was a large factor in MLB's decision to take over the team, with a $30 million loan from Fox to McCourt in order to make the Dodgers' payroll raising questions of appropriateness. (It's also been suggested that Fox forked out the dough in order to dissuade the Dodgers from giving the broadcast rights to Time Warner Cable. McCourt had been negotiating with Time Warner, though the nature of their discussions is unclear.)
Nonetheless, McCourt insists that Selig should approve the deal, despite the team owner's questionable history with Fox.
"[Selig is] ducking me. I don't know why," McCourt told Squawk Box. "We should be having a conversation about this. This is about solving a problem."
McCourt and Selig have been locking horns this week. On Wednesday, McCourt defiantly declared, "I'm not going anywhere. I'm here to continue to run this club."
He also accused Selig of vetoing the Dodgers' deal with Fox, a claim that MLB executive VP of labor relations Rob Manfred roundly refuted.
"Mr. McCourt was clearly told that the Commissioner would make no decision on any transaction until after his investigation into the club and its finances is complete so that he can properly evaluate all of the facts and circumstances."
See McCourt's "Squawk Box" appearance in this video:
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